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East Midlands Chamber News

Government Rejects National Grid Power-Saving Plan

Business and Enterprise Minister Michael Fallon MP (Licensed by Policy Exchange under CC BY 2.0)Business Minister Michael Fallon MP has dismissed proposals by the National Grid to ask some of the UK's biggest companies to consider curbing their electricity use between 4pm and 8pm on winter workdays next year, in a bid to address Britain’s looming energy supply shortage.

The radical proposal came as the government presented a flurry of measures to meet the shortfall, including clarity on renewables subsidies, support for new gas power plants and incentives to drive shale gas exploration.

However, Mr Fallon told the media last night "I can assure you, the lights are not going out."

Commenting, DNCC Chief Executive George Cowcher said: "Plans to ask industry to shut down on winter workdays are completely unworkable. Putting the brakes on production at a time when we need our businesses to drive the economic recovery cannot be allowed to happen and I'm pleased that Government Ministers have voiced their opposition to this in no uncertain terms.

"Rising energy costs are adversely affecting growth for a significant number of local businesses and the Chamber would advise all firms to look at ways to reduce both cost and consumption as part of their ongoing business improvement plans. For its part, the Government must do more to ensure its new Energy Bill clearly demonstrates benefit to businesses, growth and jobs. Increasing energy costs mean fewer jobs and less investment at a time when we are relying on the private sector to drive growth and wealth creation.

“The new bill must outline energy policies which deliver affordability, certainty and security of supply for both business and consumers. The Government must get this right or the competitiveness of the UK as a whole will suffer as a result.”

Header image on news page copyright Markles55 (CC BY-SA 2.0)